Rutgers University announced it no longer employs the former Syrian diplomat who represented President Bashar al-Assad’s bloody regime in the United Nations and accused Israel of organ-trafficking, after the administration defended the hire publicly.
Mazen Adi, who was hired as a part-time lecturer in 2015, is not currently teaching in the political science department and has not done so since the summer of 2017, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said in a Jan. 25 meeting with Jewish leaders to address anti-Semitic activity at the New Jersey school, New Jersey Jewish News reported.
Adi issued defenses in the classroom of terrorism as a legitimate form of “resistance” against Israeli “occupation.”
During his time as the Syrian government’s United Nations representative between 2007 and 2014, Adi accused “some Israeli officials” of “trafficking children’s organs,” in what Israel slammed as a modern-day blood libel.
Following reports last fall of Adi’s employment at the state university, Barchi justified the hire for Adi’s “expertise in international law and diplomacy, and other fields.”
The president also claimed Adi’s rhetoric was protected under academic freedom at a student town hall.
Hillel Neuer, head of UN Watch, which monitors the UN for anti-Israel activity, told the Algemeiner, “If true, the apparent removal of Mazen Adi, who defended the genocidal policies of the Assad regime as its spokesman at the United Nations, is a small but important victory for moral clarity on our university campuses. UN Watch calls on Rutgers University to stop playing word games and confirm that this advocate of war crimes will never again teach their students about human rights and the laws of war.”
Barchi also addressed in last month’s meeting the issue of two other Rutgers professors condemned for anti-Semitic rhetoric and scholarship, including Michael Chikindas, a microbiology professor who was demoted in December for posting anti-Semitic, racist, and sexist comments on Facebook, and Jasbir Puar, a gender studies professor whose most recent book accused Israel of purposely maiming Palestinians.
The president announced that a university symposium on diversity, inclusion, and tolerance will be held March 27, to address remaining concerns about the campus climate for Jewish students.
Keith Krivitzky, CEO of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, told the NJ Jewish News that he was disappointed in Barchi’s response to these controversies.
“My perception coming out of this meeting is that the university administration feels it needs to manage and balance the sensitivities of many groups on campus such as the large Muslim population,” Krivitzky added.